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Governor’s Energy Advisory Council sets public input sessions

Katie Tabeling
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Delawareans will have the opportunity to learn about the State Energy Plan, offer input for it, and to become better informed about existing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at a series of public input sessions planned in November by the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council (GEAC).

The GEAC is tasked with providing recommendations to the State Energy Office within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on the latest update to the Energy Plan. Since June, GEAC workgroups have been focused on learning about where Delaware currently stands, where the state needs to go, and how best to get there in working to reduce carbon emissions.

The GEAC public input sessions, one for each county, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on the dates and at locations below:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 1, Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover;
  • Monday, Nov. 6, Route 9 Library & Innovation Center, 3022 New Castle Ave., New Castle;
  • Wednesday Nov. 15, Cheer Community Center, 20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown.

GEAC chairperson Ed Kee said the goal of the public input sessions is to obtain Delawareans’ input on a wide range of energy issues. Those issues, he said, are reflected by the council’s four work groups: Grid Modernization, Energy Efficiency & Electrification, Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies, and Environmental Justice and Energy Equity.

“The format for the meetings will not be the standard public comment process, but rather specific discussion and conversations on the work group topics,” Kee said. “These conversations will run concurrently in different groups.”

Anyone wanting to attend, Kee said, can drop in at any time during the two-hour meetings to browse the displays, talk to DNREC State Energy Office staff, and offer input on some of the proposals that are under consideration.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said gathering input from communities is essential to the continuing development of the State Energy Plan. “As we work toward reducing the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change, the transition to clean energy sources, energy efficiency and grid stability will be key components to our success,” he said.

Ensuring equity in any proposals for the State Energy Plan is also essential, Secretary Garvin said, noting that DNREC’s Environmental Justice team will be at each of the three upcoming meetings to present the Department’s EJ mapping tool, and to show how it is helping to bring traditionally underserved or underrepresented Delaware communities to the table.

As GEAC chair, Kee said the council’s hope is for wide public participation in each of the meetings. “Any Delawarean interested in or concerned about the future of in our state’s energy systems is welcome to express their views and concerns,” he said. “No doubt it will be a learning experience for all.”

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